Utility back Jono Lance says there are similarities between the Waratahs and the Queensland 2011 Super Rugby winning team he played in
Jono Lance, the only current Waratah to have played in a Super Rugby title-winning team says there’s similarities between NSW and the triumphant 2011 Queensland side he played in.
NSW have gone top of the table with two rounds remaining following their emphatic 39-6 home win over the Brumbies last Saturday.
The victory secured top spot in the Australian conference and one more win in their final two fixtures at home to the Highlanders and way to the Reds,will seal a home semi-final.
Utility back Lance is in his first season with the Tahs after moving across from the Reds, whose title three years ago was Australia’s last in the three-nation competition.
“I think there’s plenty of similarities,” Lance said.
“Queensland had a few tough years before they made their charge.
“Everyone always speaks about the Waratahs’ tough years over the past.
“And just the vibe around the group and the momentum we’re building at the right time of the year is very similar to how it felt a few years ago.”
While NSW have lost captain and flanker Dave Dennis to a season-ending knee injury, Lance recalled the Reds also had injury issues in the run to their title.
“We (Queensland ) managed to win with a few injuries at the back end of the year and I think that gave us confidence that anything was possible.in the finals,” Lance said.
“I think we’ve got that opportunity the next few weeks.
Queensland enjoyed home advantage for both of their 2011 finals and Lance emphasised no team had won the title without hosting at least one final since the format was revamped three years ago.
“Especially with South Africa in the competition, it’s hard in finals to make that one-week trip over and then have to head somewhere else,” Lance said.
“I think that’s why complacency won’t be an issue for us, because we understand it is very important to get the home semi and very important to keep the momentum going.”
Lance made three starts at fullback when Israel Folau had a throat issue earlier in the season, but his other five caps this year have been earned off the bench.
It’s pretty tough (to get a start) at the moment,” Lance said.
“I’ve got probably three of the best players in Australia at the moment in (five-eighth) Bernard (Foley), (inside centre) KB (Kurtley Beale) and Izzy ahead of me and I’m not complaining too much about that.
“I get to enjoy watching them play. Obviously I’d like to play a bit more, but we’re going alright as a team at the moment, so that’s fine.”